It is a concept that interests me, I don’t know if the reason I want to feel I have one so much is that I rarely feel I’ve ever had one or whether it is just something that is part of me. I don’t mean a house obviously I have been lucky enough so far to be in relatively modest but nonetheless always adequate surroundings. When I go to the place I call home, it doesn’t feel like home, or at least what I imagine home should feel like. There are actually only 2 places that have ever felt like home the first was Chelsea where I was born and lived for 6 years and the second was a house in a village outside Oxford where I lived although I was more often away at school. Nowadays I’m too scared to go back to Chelsea to even look at it as it is a very different place now to what it was then in the early 70s, I have little enough memories of it as it is to go back I feel sometimes would just taint them and make me wonder if they were real or not. The 10 years between leaving Chelsea and being in Oxford were spent at various points across London none of which I really built up a proper affinity with. Equally London is really too big -you can’t call London home it’s a congealed sprawl of excrement that people happen to live in, home it is definitely not. There are areas within it where I feel familiarity places I hung around in for some years like Lewisham but I was there at the weekend and that’s changed a lot too in the 5 or so years since I’ve been away. There are areas where I never lived where I have a strange tie like Paddington where my Dad grew up, he and I went walking around there after my Grandma died and it was clearly a home like feeling for him, bringing back memories and revisiting haunts and stuff. It was moving and interesting and I felt it was kind of part of me by virtue of it being part of my Dad but it was a secondary thing rather than primary.

That being said, London is part of me and always will be. I will be at least 50 years old before I could have lived anywhere longer than I lived in London and although I hate it there are still more ties to me in London than there are anywhere else and I don’t have many ties anywhere full stop. I could live the rest of my life the other side of the world and my accent and birthplace and childhood would still be tied to London. Does that make it home? Or does that mean that because I can’t call London home I am destined to be without one.

Does home mean the same for different people, do most people have somewhere that they feel is home or not? Are those of us who don’t feel anywhere as home just drifters or is it a time related thing, spend more than X years somewhere and it will feel like home. Is home to do with the bricks and mortar of a house or is it more ethereal and to do with the memories surrounding an area? I always thought the ideal place for me was a small cottage very near the sea, somewhere in Cornwall I thought. But sometimes I wonder if that wouldn’t be too nice, too low-key not stirring enough if you like, the one thing London does do is stir up emotion, it just isn’t good emotion but it does make me write a lot, usually fairly billious! Perhaps that’s just the way I am destined to be after all, familiarity breeds contempt.

Song Of The Day – The Clash ~ London Calling

Original Comments:


A visitor made this comment,
I lived in London for 30 years and in the suburbs for another 26. I’ve now lived on the Kent coast for 9 years but still slip up when asked where I live. I often reply London. I miss the buzz.
John

[Redbaron responds – Did you mean buzz or you miss the Fuzz?! If it was the buzz you are after I’d rather have a wasps nest outside the house! Actually that’s not true I hate wasps they get stuck in my hair and sting me – bastards.]

comment added :: 25th October 2004, 17:55 GMT+01
A visitor made this comment,
We moved around a lot when I was younger. The longest I ever lived in one place was 7 years in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I attended high school and college. We just past 6 years in Tucson, Arizona, the first place I ever chose to live for myself, and I’m actually quite looking forward to hitting 7 years–passing that milestone. This feels like a hometown to me, because the life I’ve created here is far fuller than any before. Did a tour in ’96 of a few of my old home towns with the Mr., and they seemed so small, so distant in memory even though I was standing in the middle of them.
Kristie [kristiesgu@gmail.com]

comment added :: 25th October 2004, 20:27 GMT+01
Rachel made this comment,
You’re lucky that you feel so at home in any place, even if it’s not so specific. I’m hoping for the day that I can leave where I am right now, for I don’t think there’s anything here for me. There’s nothing keeping me here.
Visit me @ http://palmysinfullbloom.blog-city.com

comment added :: 26th October 2004, 01:41 GMT+01

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